I live in a state over a thousand miles from my mother and I call her nearly every day.

A few years ago, she developed Alzheimer’s Disease. She lives in a small town and has a little house in a neighborhood “behind” other houses and off a main street. It’s about ninety seconds from my brother’s home.

Mom has a care giver, Joanie, who drops in three times a day, making sure Mother gets fed and takes her medicine. She also washes Mom’s hair and comes back later in the day to comb out her hairdo.

Luckily, Mom is not a wanderer and we are hoping she’ll be able to stay in her house for at least another year. The alternative will be a lock-down situation, probably in a large city near my sister.

Yesterday when I called her, I described my adult literacy training and what adult literacy is to my mother. She said spontaneously, “Oh, you’re the perfect person to do that.”

I was touched that she was able to share that through the fog of her Alzheimer’s.

It is something she never would have done before the illness altered her mind.

Amazingly, we have conversations that would have been impossible before her illness set in.

I am slowly losing my mother but the loss is a gentle one.

Elaine (June ‘11) adds, “My son was in a serious bicycle accident followed by four hours of surgery on a cervical vertebra. He was alone when the accident happened but was able to lie still in a ditch as he called 911. He’ll be in a brace for three to six months but back to work in about one month.”

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